- There are lots of connection problem tips below and on our modem disconnection page.
Analog modems and phone lines can cause individual users lots of problems. We monitor our
equipment here 24 hours a day and test our modem pools every 60 seconds so problems with
our equipment are detected almost immediately.
- Free Test Modem
If you are having any trouble connecting or staying connected it is probably your
modem (yes, even if it worked fine to some other provider). Please try a replacement
modem from us free. Just send it back if it doesn't solve the problem. To keep
it read below.
- Modem Trade in Only $10.
"Hello, I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to swap out my modem
with you this last Saturday. The new modem surely did the trick. It's so nice to not be
disconnected for no good reason except a poor performing modem. This is really
exceptionally good customer service, I really appreciate this extra help to keep my
system connected with you CN 2/22/00"
One of the most common reasons for people to be dissatisfied with our service is because
they have a modem that wont connect or disconnects frequently! To help these
individuals we now supply tested modems really cheap way below our cost. To
receive a modem email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, username, and mailing address.
Within 10 days:
- Return your old modem and your account will be billed a $10 service fee or the trade in
price listed below. (This is free or way below our
cost, as a service to USFamily.Net customers only.
Junk modems are collected and destroyed to keep them from terrorizing future
- Return the new modem (if it didn't help) and there is no charge.
- Return nothing and your account will be billed the regular price.
Make sure you request the right modem for your system PCI slot, ISA slot, or external.
Tested PCI modem - requires (short usually white) PCI slot and 150Mhz or faster processor.
Trade in 56k Price $10
Trade in 14.4-33.6k Price $20.
Regular price $40
Tested ISA modem - works in most old and new computers these are the longer black slots.
Trade in 56k Price $30
Trade in 14.4-33.6k Price $40.
Regular price $60
Tested External modem - works on a serial port on most old and new computers including
Apple Macintosh computers.
Trade in 56k Price $70
Trade in 14.4-33.6k Price $80.
Regular price $100
Limit 1 per customer.
- I am getting disconnected frequently. Why is this
and what can I do about it?
**** You should not get disconnected when you are actively using your system or
downloading. It sounds like you may have a hardware or software problem. Some of the
reasons for disconnection and solutions are:
- Use of a previous service such as AOL sometimes goofs up your modem
and network drivers making it incompatible with other services. This seems to be
increasing in frequency. This is usually resolved be reinstalling all networking but can
also require reinstalling the modem. See reinstalling a modem and
- There are now 2 large main modem pools
Try both as you may experience a slightly different phone line
quality to one over the other. Some modems don't handle these
phone issues gracefully. http://www.usfamily.net/chgnum.html
- Our equipment disconnects you after 15 minutes of total inactivity.
This is the only normal reason for disconnection and is necessary to keep maximum
resources available for everyone.
- A modem problem. This is somewhat common and can sometimes be
resolved with a firmware update. These can often be downloaded from your manufacturers web
site. We are personally aware of some Motorola and USR modems with problems which have
been resolved in this way. If necessary call us for a modem trade in.
- A phone line problem. If the problem is severe enough for
disconnection you may be able to hear noise on the line with a normal handset. If so, the
phone company should be able track it down.
- Your dialer software. Some people have dialer software on their
systems with parameters set to automatically disconnect them based on parameters.
AOL has provided dialers like this. The Shiva dialer also has some disconnection
- Priority disconnection. If our system disconnects a user due to full
resources you will be notified by e-mail. If you don't get an email it wasn't our
- Try turning off "Software Compression" in dialup
networking. If your problem lessens it would be an indication that your modem is ill and
cannot handle maximum throughput without disconnecting.
click my computer, click dial up networking, right click usfamily icon, select properties,
click server types, unselect software compression. If necessary call us for a
modem trade in.
- Check out our modem disconnection page.
- I installed the USFamily.Net setup disk but I never hear my
**** click on the USFamily.Net rocket ship icon.
click the settings button
at the bottom click the down arrow and try each of the modems you have configured.
if that doesn't help it may be a conflict with an older version of connection manager.
double click my computer
double click control panel
double click add/remove programs
double click and remove "connection manager"
double click and remove "usfamily.net"
reinstall the usfamily.net setup diskette again.
- I just bought a new 56k v90 modem and I am only connecting at
28.8k. What can I do?
**** If your telephone line is able to support 56k then get a replacement modem from
1. Disconnect every device from all your phone jacks and test. A bad cordless
phone or other device can drop the quality of your line.
2. Make sure you have the latest modem firmware and drivers. These are usually
available free from the modem manufacturer's website.
3. It could be the modem. In a batch of 10 identical modems not all of them will connect
at the same speed. We pretest all replacement modems to connect above 50k on our
test lines and stay connected for a 30 minute binary download.
4. If it is still slow it is most likely your phone line. This means the modem you bought
won't work at a higher speed on your phone line. The only good way to see if this is the
case is to take your computer system to another location where the phone line is known to
work well at 45K or better.
Sorry this problem is difficult to debug unless you have access to lots of modems and
different phone lines. We have test modems available.
The phone company is usually not real helpful. Their standard response is that they only
need to guarantee 9.6k. But it is always worth a try, especially if you can hear any
noise on the line.
5. The farther you are from your local telephone office "local loop
distance" the slower your maximum speed will be. Below 5000 feet very high speeds
should be easy. Above 20,000 feet high speeds are unlikely due to loss of frequency
ranges. To find your distance ask the phone company to run a local loop distance test. The
DSL department does this routinely.
6. Make sure you don't have an X2 modem. We don't support X2 but X2 modems are usually
upgradeable to the V90 standard for free at the manufacturer's website with just a
firmware download. Only V90 56k modems are being sold since the standard was
7. Try all the different connection numbers at USFamily.Net. About 10% of the 56k users
get a better connect speed to one pool over another.
8. If the modem has a "KFlex mode" try that. Check your manual for the right
command. On a zoom modem it is ats109=0.
- My modem connected at 45k to another provider but won't
connect over 28.8k to yours? Why?
This is very rare (thank goodness) but does happen. If you have tried everything in the
previous question it would have to be some unusual compatibility problem. Check out
our modem replacement program.
All ISPs do get this complaint. Here is a third party resource that
describes this and also what can be done.
- I have a USR 33.6 modem, with a future software upgrade to download
at speeds of up to 56K. What is the average connection speed for non-ISDN
accounts (28.8, 33.6, ???)?
**** We are 100% digital all the way into the "CO". If there are any
line quality issues it would be from your location to your local "CO". Your
connection speed to us should be better than to another service using analog technology
(due to fewer A/D conversions) or about the same as another digital provider. The mean
connection rate experience for 56k users appears to be around 47k, this is still about
twice the mean connection rate for 28.8 modems. Here are some references I found on the
web regarding a sample of 56k users actual connection experience:
Please use your free trial month to check for yourself.
- I have an X2 56k modem from USRobotics, what speed
will I connect at and when will I be able to connect at 56k?
**** We use Rockwell/Lucent K56flex and V90 technology from Shiva and Lucent. An X2 modem
will negotiate at 33.6k unless upgraded to V.90. Here is a URL that describes the latest
on the 56k standard and availability. Go to http://www.usrobotics.com
to find out about a firmware upgrade.
and also http://www.56k.com/
- My current ISP gives me throughputs of up to 4
Kbytes per second,
what throughput am I likely to get with USFamily.Net?
**** You should get pretty much the full bandwidth of your connect speed most of the time.
Please let us know what you experience.
- Any other modem tips?
**** check these settings in dial up networking
Click My Computer
Click Dial up Networking
RIGHT click USFamily.net
Set max speed to 57600 or higher
DO NOT check "connect only at this speed" - doing so will often slow you way
click the options tab
Neither "terminal window" box should be checked or a black window will appear
click the Connection tab
do not check the "disconnect call if idle x minutes"
- What 56k modem do I buy?
**** For v.92 info go to http://www.usfamily.net/cgi-bin/viewfaq.cgi?v92
**** If you have an old modem call us for a modem trade in and get a really
inexpensive modem tested with our service..
**** We are V.90 compatible so any V.90, V.92 or slower modem should work. We are
also Rockwell K56flex or compatible. We do not support USR X2 unless upgraded to V.90.
Here is a helpful link for buyers information. http://www.56k.com/buyer/
- My connect speed on my 56k modem is only 24k, why?
**** Many or most 56k users average about 45k, however your connect speed is determined by
a number of factors.
1. The distance from your house to your local phone office (called a CO), the greater the
distance the more capacitance and the more loss in the upper frequency ranges resulting in
lower connect speeds.
2. An office PBX phone system almost always reduces your speed below 28.8k.
3. The quality or compatibility of your modem. We are sorry all modem manufacturers do not
fully test their modems with various switches. Diamond modems for example frequently don't
work well to our equipment even though we use the top-of-the-line shiva switches.
4. Try all 3 of our modem pools, these are completely different lines through different
COs. Occasionally users will find a different result due to unknowable phone company
issues, but usually not.
Click here for phone numbers.